Category Archives: Immunology

Protein kinase R, RNA helicase A and virus infection

PKR is a sentinel kinase constitutively expressed in all cells as an inactive protein that is subsequently activated by virus RNA produced during an infection. The active kinase perturbs virus replication by phosphorylating protein substrates in the cell. RNA helicase … Continue reading

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Modulation of the immune system by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus

Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is a multifocal tumour only found in a few groups of people, including elderly Mediterranean men, individuals in Africa and patients with immune disorders. The tumours arise from the formation of new blood or lymphatic vessels (angiogenesis … Continue reading

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HIV is evolving rapidly to escape the immune system

HIV is evolving rapidly to escape the human immune system. Researchers have shown HIV is able to adapt rapidly to counter human genes controlling immune system molecules that can target it for destruction. Progression to AIDS is tied to genes … Continue reading

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New Insights Could Lead to a Better Pneumococcal Vaccine

The discovery of a previously unknown mechanism of immunity may lead to a better way to protect vulnerable children and adults against Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) infection. The findings may aid the development of novel pneumococcal vaccines that would be less … Continue reading

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Escape from Death Row: Virus Subversion of Apoptosis

Successful replication of a virus within a host cell requires a remarkable and complex series of interactions between the virus and host, starting with recognition of the cell receptor and ending with the release of progeny virions. Viruses utilize many … Continue reading

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NO laughing matter: the toxic gases of the nitrogen cycle

The cytotoxin nitric oxide (NO) can be converted by bacteria to the relatively harmless nitrous oxide (N2O). In this article in Microbiology Today, David Richardson, Andrew Thomson and Nicholas Watmough describe how this envirotoxin causes different problems. NO is one … Continue reading

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The primary immune sensor for noroviruses

Gastroenteritis is a common disease in both developed and developing countries. The two main causes of this affliction are bacteria and viruses. One of the primary viruses implicated in gastroenteritis has been shown to be noroviruses, which include Norwalk virus, … Continue reading

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Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes

Antigenic variation is one of the most elegant systems that have evolved to evade host immune defenses. The surface of Trypanosoma brucei, a unicellular parasite that lives in the bloodstream of its mammalian host, is coated with glycoprotein (VSGs) molecules. … Continue reading

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Immune exhaustion in HIV infection

Viruses are small infectious agents responsible for many human diseases, including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Like other viruses, the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1; the cause of AIDS) enters human cells and uses the cellular machinery to replicate before bursting … Continue reading

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